Mideast Stocks: Dubai outperforms most Gulf bourses; Saudi falls

Dubai's main share index advanced 1.5%


Dubai stocks rose sharply in early trade on Monday to their highest since March 2018, supported by upbeat corporate earnings, while the Saudi index eased amid falling oil prices.

Crude oil prices fell under pressure from expectations of increasing supplies and a lower demand forecast amid higher energy costs. 

Oil markets have dropped for the last three weeks, hit by a strengthening dollar and speculation that President Joe Biden's administration might release oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to cool prices.

Dubai's main share index advanced 1.5%, boosted by a 2% rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties after reporting a sharp rise in quarterly profit. 

Dubai Financial Market soared more than 12%, rising for a ninth session in eleven.

Earlier this month, the emirate announced plans to launch a 2 billion dirham ($545 million) market-maker fund and initial public offerings of 10 state-backed companies as part of plans to boost activity on the local bourse. 

Dubai plans to list its "Salik" road toll system on the Dubai Financial Market, the emirate's deputy ruler, Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed, said on Twitter on Saturday.  

Elsewhere, Amlak Finance jumped about 15%, after it swung to quarterly profit.

Dubai International Airport handled 20.7 million passengers in the first 10 months of the year, half of which passed through the major Gulf transit hub between July and October, operator Dubai Airports said on Monday, upwardly revising its outlook. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 0.1%, with Saudi National Bank losing 0.9% and Al Rajhi Bank was down 0.1%.

The kingdom's consumer price index increased by 0.8% in October from a year earlier and was 0.2% higher on the month, government data showed on Monday. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index dropped 0.6%, pulling back from record highs, hit by a 2% decline in conglomerate International Holding.

Elsewhere, Bank of Sharjah tumbled 5.7%, after it posted a net loss of 833.3 million dirhams ($226.90 million) for the third quarter, compared to profit of 110.4 million dirhams a year ago.  

The Qatari index traded flat, as gains in financial shares were offset by declines in energy stocks.

Qatar Stock Exchange on Monday announced the launch of the ESG tradable index in collaboration with MSCI.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Gareth Jones) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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